News

Two years for Fort Langley assault

Matthew Sherwin said he was too high to remember what happened the morning he and two others broke down the door of a sleeping Fort Langley man, beat him bloody and robbed him in April 2010.

He also doesn’t remember tossing a hunting knife towards a police officer or being Tasered after resisting arrest.

Whether Sherwin remembers any of it or not, the 26-year-old was sentenced to two years in jail on Friday for his participation in the home invasion.

On Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein sentenced Sherwin, 26, to jail. He was found guilty of aggravated assault,  assault with intent to resist arrest and  break and enter.

In his two-day trial in New Westminster last month, the judge heard evidence from the four Langley RCMP officers who arrested Sherwin after they saw him running from the 52-year-old victim’s home.

The trial also heard from Sherwin himself, who testified he has had substance abuse issues for over 17 years, up to the last two years.  His drugs of choice were crystal meth and crack cocaine.  Six months before the Marsh break-in, Sherwin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He also suffered brain damage in a car accident on 2009 that has been left untreated.

In his testimony, he took no responsibility for what happened, saying he only went along with the other two because they promised drugs and were sly in convincing him to do things.

The heavy-set, six-foot, four-inch Sherwin, who has a lengthy criminal history, was seen by Langley RCMP officers dropping a baseball bat, but ignored police commands to get on the ground. He instead screamed incoherently and tossed a sheathed knife at one of the officers before making a run for it.

The 52-year-old victim of the home invasion, Steven Gary Marsh, died nearly a month after the brutal beating. Sherwin was not charged in connection with his death. According to the courts, Marsh died of other health issues.

But he did provide statements to police about the attacks.

He said he heard his door being kicked in. He said he went to look and saw a man in his house. He grabbed his blue bat but the suspect wrestled it out of his hands and hit him over the head with it. He then hit Marsh over the head with a lamp repeatedly.

Marsh’s injuries included a possible concussion and cracked skull.  According to police documents, he had extensive bruising on his neck and left shoulder and a lump behind his left ear.  He had multiple bruises on his arms.

Marsh said he was left lying in a pool of blood in the fetal position, thinking he would die.

The day of the home invasion, Sherwin had began fighting with his ex-girlfriend about their child. He then went drinking. He then went out with a friend and pulled a scam at Best Buy and his  take was $1,500. He bought one-quarter ounce of crystal meth and one-half ounce of crack cocaine, as well as three bottles of Fireball whiskey.

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